High school students head to court for Mock Trial Competition

Contact: Lisa Eschleman, OCLRE Executive Director, LEschleman@oclre.org; 614-485-3510
 
COLUMBUS  (Jan. 29, 2013) - More than 3,000 high school students will enter courtrooms across the state on Friday, Jan. 31, prepared to take part in the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) 31st Annual Ohio Mock Trial District Competition. Students will assume the roles of witnesses and attorneys and argue both sides of an original case based on a constitutional issue.   
   
In this year’s case, fictitious Philips High School agrees to license naming rights of its field to a large corporation. Students protest this action both in school and on the field. The school district responds by installing security cameras and searching the students’ lockers. The students claim the school district has violated their rights under the First and Fourth amendments.
 
Mock Trial District Competitions will be hosted in 29 counties and involve more than 1,000 legal professionals who serve as volunteer judges, competition coordinators and team advisors. Mock Trial is Ohio’s largest high school academic competition and among the largest high school Mock Trial programs in the nation.   
 
“In addition to teaching students how the U.S. Constitution is relevant to their lives,” said OCLRE Executive Director Lisa Eschleman, “mock trial provides a wonderful opportunity for students to learn and practice analytic and research skills. Presenting a trial before a panel of judges and attorneys is an authentic and unique experience they will carry with them throughout their lives.”
 
Each Mock Trial team consists of five to 11 students who prepare both plaintiff and defense cases and participate in two trials against opposing teams. District winners will advance to Regional Competition on Friday, Feb. 21. The state competition will take place March 6-8 in Columbus, where the championship round will be held at the Ohio Statehouse. The state champion will advance to the National High School Mock Trial Championship May 8-10 in Madison, Wis.
   
OCLRE is a private non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose goal is to improve society by developing citizens empowered with an understanding of our democratic system. OCLRE is sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Ohio State Bar Association and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation. The Ohio Mock Trial program is funded in part by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation.
 
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